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Daniel Lanois | Music

Updated on December 24, 2014

Daniel Lanois, a Music Genius

Daniel Lanois is perhaps one of the most creative musicians of the last few decades. He maneuvers sound to serve atmospheres; his songs are aural pieces of film, etched with razor-sharp guitars. Paradoxically, he's better known as one of the most successful producers of his era.

So you're in for a ride into his world. I'll show you some pictures, wonderful videos and I promise you'll change your perception of this artist.

Ma Jolie Louise - Perhaps his most popular song...

Selected Discography


  • Here Is What Is (Redfloor Records, 2007)
  • Belladonna (ANTI, 2005)
  • Rockets (, 2004)
  • Shine (ANTI, 2003)
  • Cool Water (Redfloor Records, 1993)
  • For the Beauty of Wynona (Warner Brothers, 1993)
  • Acadie (Warner Brothers, 1989)

  • The Million Dollar Hotel: Soundtrack (Uni/Interscope, 2000)
  • Sling Blade: Soundtrack (Island, 1996)

What's Your Favorite Album?

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Acadie - His First Album


The Maker - Perhaps his most covered song


This beautifully textured album sparkles with atmospheric, bluesy, folky songs like Still Water, The Maker and Where The Hawkwind Kills. Other songs such like Jolie Louise and Under The Stormy Sky, a mixed of French & English ballads, are influenced by the Cajun style. The album ends with a subdued rendition of Amazing Grace. What an exquisite masterpiece!


Acadie (Unreleased) - The Forgotten Song

This song was never released, and missed the cut twice, for both Acadie and Wynona. I really love this song, it takes me back to Quebec city, right there in the Plains of Abraham, where the battle took place, where I used to play the Acadie album in my walkman.

From the window on the Fleuve St. Laurent
many sails are blowing over Fleur de Lis
And it's no surprise to us the gentils gents
that the British have come now for Acadie

Oh no, no, Francine don't cry
Dry your eyes for I must go
And we fought them on the General Montcalm
as they climbed up to the Plains of Abraham

Where are you Francine?
My eyes are blinded by the smoke,
the powder and the dust
Where are you Francine?

Our lives are shattered by the rush
of the redcoats forward thrust
With the guns they pounded the blue sky to black,
and the farmers fought with the swift blade in hand

When a bullet hit Montcalm in the back,
we had lost our leader run straight from command
Oh no, no, Francine don't cry
Dry your eyes for you must go

On a ship that sails away toward your land,
I'll soon be with you in Louisiane
In the dust I lay with no feeling in my place,
and my friend is looking very hurt there in the dirt,
with a bloodied-soldier shirt

Oh no, no, Francine don't cry
Dry your eyes for you are now
Far away from land of Acadie
in Louisiana where we will be free

Goldtop Edition of Acadie

and some unreleased tracks

This edition includes the classic album plus six unreleased tracks from the vault. The package holds the CD, a 32 page bound book of photographs and new inscriptions.

Bonus Material

13 The Maker (early bass and lyrics)

14 The Maker (Calypso demo)

15 Still Water (from Eno's house)

16 Jolie Louise (before Dublin)

17 Early Dourado Sketch

18 The Source Of Fisherman's Daughter

Let's Go Back In Time

Backstage with Daniel Lanois

The Hamilton Spectator published a 3-part article on how Daniel started his life as a producer and guitar player. The articles were written by Jon Wells.

These videos add up to that story which is told by his brother Bob Lanois and his childhood friends.

For The Beauty of Wynona - Perhaps his most complete album

Rocky World

For The Beauty Of Wynona
For The Beauty Of Wynona

This album is more complex, musically and lyrically, than his previous allbum. It impresses with gems like Lotta Love To Give, Sleeping In The Devil's Bed and The Unbreakable Chain. The production is magical, with atmospheric instrumentation, including evocative keyboards, backing his soulful voice. This is a memorable album and Lanois remains truthful to his heart.


Shine On! - Music from the album Shine


This is a brilliant album. Such great texture and warm sounds. The songs go from ambient, acoustic rock, country and blues at times. My favorites were the quiet Sometimes, Shine, and San Juan. This record delivers on every single track. Don't be surprised if you find out that Lanois is responsible for a quarter of the music you love.


Radio Interview with Daniel - More about the album Shine

Recording at a radio show Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2003 with Nic Harcourt. Lanois and Mother Superior perform in the studio songs from the album Shine.

Here Is What Is - His Latest Album

"Here Is What Is" Marks The First CD Quality Digital Download Album Release.

"Here Is What Is" Track Listing:

1. Chest Of Drawers

2. Where Will I Be

3. Here Is What Is

4. Not Fighting Anymore

5. Beauty

6. Blue Bus

7. Lovechild

8. Harry

9. Bells

10. This May Be The Last Time

11. Smoke #6

12. I Like That

13. Duo Glide

14. Bladesteel

15. Moondog

16. Sacred And Secular

17. Joy

18. Luna Samba

The entire catalog of solo work, including Here Is What Is, is available at

A Rare Box Set - Here Is What Is on eBay

Two disk set includes the CD and deluxe DVD with over an hour of extra footage, including alternate versions of songs from the film, a 12-page booklet with photos and lyrics. Three 5 x 7 photographs. Also included is an exclusive 'Here Is What Is' debossed Moleskine Cahier Notebook. Limited to 3000 copies.

Here Is What Is
Here Is What Is

Here Is What Is features a collection of beautiful and powerful new songs. From the inquisitive Where Will I Be to the emotive sounds of Lovechild. This record is a sonic journey that captures the signature musical sensibilities and virtuosity of Daniel Lanois. The album also includes philosophical and inspiring conversations with Brian Eno.


Belladonna - His FIrst Instrumental Album

The Pedal Steel Guitar - His Little Church in a Suitcase

Lanois played processed pedal steel in Apollo, the ambient soundscapes album he pioneered with Brian Eno in the early '80s. He recently released Belladonna, a gorgeous, shimmering 40 minutes of steel guitar music, a sonic road trip through parts unknown.

"Part of the appeal is that it's not an easy instrument to float with. You have to be dedicated, and thus not a lot of people can play it, because it's much easier to just pick up a keyboard or guitar. You can get some kind of quick gratification from those instruments as a novice, but the pedal steel won't work. You've got to put in the years."


This is a sonic journey of kaleidoscopic textures that evolve into delicate Mexican melodies and capture the serenity of American southwest landscapes. The Pedal steel guitar and ambient sounds are the stars here. Some tracks, like Flametop Green, Panorama and Desert Rose are examples of beauty and perfect execution. Absolutely essential listening.


Cool Water

Is it really a bootleg?

It was recorded live in Toronto, Canada, April 1993 at Intimate & Interactive, MuchMusic studios and CBC. MuchMusic is a Canadian cable channel for music videos, similar to MTV. The label is Big Music (Italy) - BIG 063 and it was distributed by CD Music.

One night Lanois was signing autographs after a concert, and a fan gave him a copy of Cool Water. He wrote "This is a Bootleg", stamped his signature and smiled.

Irish Melody

Yes, this is elusive track 9 from Cool Water. It has a Celtic feel to it. Any resemblance with Sonho Dourado?

Frozen in Time

Diego Painting

This track was released in 1993 as part of a promo album called Trip. All pieces were instrumentals, many of them became part of later released songs. This particular track is one of Lanois' most beautiful instrumental songs he's ever made.

The Omni Series - Six Albums of Unreleased Music Online

Under The Influence of Jimi Hendrix

In his younger years, Daniel used to play guitar and practice in his room, constantly. He used to listen to Jimi Hendrix records. Those records really made an impression on him and they still do. He thinks Jimi's probably the best guitar player that there ever existed. He was asked recently who he would choose if he could work with anyone living or dead, Lanois didn't have to think long before naming his choice: Jimi Hendrix.

Lanois included a version of May This Be Love in Emmylou Harris' The Wrecking Ball. In 1995 at a concert in Seattle, he performed this song with his band. Check it out:

One of My Favorite Tunes from Daniel - Sonho Dourado

Daniel Lanois Plays Omnichord

The Suzuki Omnichord was introduced in 1981. An electronic musical instrument, it features a touch plate and chord buttons, making it very easy to play. Beginners can immediately start playing in tune, while professionals often use the instrument as tool to help map out and shape songs.

Lanois had his Omnichord modified to get different sounds and effects. The built-in sounds, while poor imitations of real instruments, have a certain charm of their own.

Besides using the omnichord in his early records such as Acadie, For The Beauty of Wynona. He also included it in these songs:

* Tension Block (Music For Films III), 1988

* Rain Weather/Elle Est Bonne Et Belle (Lotta Love To Give Single), 1993

* 454 (Jam Nation - Way Down Below Buffalo Hell), 1993

* El Conquistador (Plus From Us), 1993

Brian Blade - Daniel's Side Kick Drummer

Brian Blade is the drummer of choice for Daniel Lanois. Brian has also recorded or performed with Joni Mitchell, Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bob Dylan and others. Daniel produced Brian's first album: Brian Blade Fellowship, in which he played mando-guitar and Fender Mustang guitar.

In an interview, back in 2006, Lanois said:

"I've known Brian for 15 years and he's like a brother. We always work best when we haven't played together in a while. Then we share our new knowledge together. But he has many layers to his personality and a darkness to him that you don't meet the first time, because he seems very sweet. And Brian is driven by all these layers."

Brian Blade Fellowship
Brian Blade Fellowship

"Simply put, this is one the best jazz albums of the last few years from one of the best bands of the last few years. Drawing together many different influences, the music here has many rich melodies and textures that proves a current band can create something as beautiful as any of the classic Blue Note albums of the past."

-Michael Brumitt


Daniel and His Motorcycle

Daniel hardly ever drives a car. A motorbike, usually a modified BMW, is his main way of getting around Los Angeles and Toronto. He also take the occasional trip to Mexico with close friends.

Unfortunately, Daniel had a near-fatal accident in June 2010, nonetheless he recovered well and was able to tour with Black Dub and finish Le Noise.

The French Connection - Pour Ton Sourire

Singer and cellist Jorane joins forces with producer Daniel Lanois in this low-key track.

Share Your Thoughts on Daniel

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    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 6 years ago

      It's been a long time since I've listened to Daniel Lanois - merci beaucoup!

    • Valdacious profile image

      Valdacious 6 years ago

      Great lens thannks!

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      Excellent lens about Daniel Lanois.

      Lots of information and great music.


    • tea lady 2 profile image

      Pat 8 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Nice Lens!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 9 years ago from Canada

      Beautiful -- Daniel's name seems slightly familiar but I had not heard the music that I listened to here on your page. Please add your lens to the "Read More About Some Great Canadian Music Artists At The Following Squidoo Pages" section of my lens, Obama's Canadian Playlist.


    • profile image

      sbpk 9 years ago

      Dear Daniel,

      Please take me in. The soy bomb debris is killing me.